OLATHE, Kan. - An Olathe man training to become a firefighter to fulfill a lifelong goal of finding work that helps people is still struggling to recover nearly a month after witnessing a friend’s suicide he said he did everything in his power to prevent.
On August 28th, Charles Cadle learned the cost of good intentions.
"Loud noises scare me. People coming to the door too fast. I hear sirens or the right gust of wind. I feel like my life is in danger again," he said.
The 23-year-old bartended suffers from PTSD-like symptoms after witnessing the suicide of a friend he was trying to help.
“That night was just another one of those nights, just like any other night,” Cadle said.
Cadle was tending bar at the Houlihan’s restaurant where he’s worked for nearly four years when his normal shift turned tragic.
That night, a server high on pain pills and with a history of trouble over drugs lost his temper at the restaurant where they both worked. Cadle said he tried to talk his friend down and offered to drive him home.
"I told him, ‘Hey man, you're way too messed up. I don't want you to hurt anybody else out on the road and I don't want you to hurt yourself. I can give you a ride home,’" he said.
But unbeknownst to Cadle, someone had seen the friend pull a gun and the police were waiting outside.
"We got pulled over and my car was instantly surrounded by cops,” Cadle said. “I looked over at him and he said, ‘I'm not going back to jail, Charlie,' and shot himself."
Even now, Cadle can't sleep, can't hear in his right ear and can't move the car where he parked it the next day.
“I don't know if there has ever been a time when I have been more afraid," he said.
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